Celebrity news & gossip from the world’s showbiz and glamour magazines (OK!, Hello, National Enquirer and more). We read them so you don’t have to, picking the best bits from the showbiz world’s maw and spitting it back at them. Expect lots of sarcasm.
AUGUST 22, 1977:
Mourning fans of the late Elvis Presley, dance on a traffic island outside the Palais de Danse hall in Nottingham where the convention of the dead star’s official British fan club was held.
SINCE his first silver screen appearance in 1954, Toho’s giant monster Godzilla has starred in more than two dozen epic movies.
The big green lizard has been featured as a terrifying villain, as a defender of the Earth, and, occasionally, even traveled to American shores to wreak havoc. In this span, Godzilla has stood alone, acted as a tag team player (with friends like Anguirus and Rodan…), battled ancient threats to humanity, and even fended off alien invaders on more than one occasion (Monster Zero , Final Wars ).
MAKE no mistake about it – Justin Bieber is a little turd.
However, this is not necessarily an insult to the gyrating singer. See, if there’s anything we all want out of a popstar, it is occasional bad behaviour…
HERE’S cruise ship playing Seven Nation Army on her horn:
NOT too long ago, Alec Baldwin was shooting his mouth off, saying that he was going to leave New York. Everyone started spreadin’ the news. He didn’t want to be a part of it.
New York. New York.
And today, he’s off again after getting in trouble with NYC cops. Again. The actor was arrested after he became belligerent with an officer, who pulled him over on his little bicycle.
“Basically around 10:15, he was riding his bicycle the wrong way in vicinity of 16th and Fifth, he was approached by the officers and was asked for [identification],” the NYPD spokesperson said.
WHEN George Lucas’s space fantasy Star Wars premiered in the summer of 1977 – and promptly became the highest grossing film in history – it was only a matter of time before intrepid filmmakers sought to imitate and thus re-capture the movie’s magic in a slew of lookalike films.
Importantly, the Star Wars film craze not only brought a barrage of new science fiction-themed films to the international box office, it also changed the very way that movie-makers approached the difficult-to-visualize genre.
Before Star Wars, the 1970s SF cinema obsessed, largely, on matters of environmental disaster and future dystopias like Soylent Green (1973) and Logan’s Run (1976).
After Star Wars, however, science fiction films usually featured more action, colorful laser blasts, cute robotic sidekicks, and a concentration on fantasy aspects.
CHARLIE Chaplin was woken on the morning 17 September 1921 while in his bed at the Ritz Hotel in London. “Visitors from Hoxton” he was told. From outside the window he could hear children singing the same song over and over again:
When the moon shines bright on Charlie Chaplin
His boots are cracking, for want of blacking
And his little baggy trousers need mending
Before we send him to the Dardanelles
THERE’S only a finite number of ways you can arrange a canvas. Naturally, there’s going to be some patterns that emerge, and certain motifs will be copied and repeated to oblivion within the pop art landscape. An artful conception will suddenly be mimicked on comic book covers to movie posters to paperbacks to album covers, and it will continue for decades.
GUESS what? Lily Allen is talking again, this time, saying that we shouldn’t play her music in public because it makes her hide under tables.
She says: “Usually if I’m in a club and my music comes on I find the nearest table and hide underneath it. That’s generally how I deal with it.
“It’s quite funny because in some places they think that’s the appropriate thing to do when someone like myself walks in is to play their song. I think I might be different to most people in the sense that I react: I’m horrified when that happens and hide. I’m sure some people get on the table and dance ‘Woo hoo! This is great.’ But I can’t do that.”
SO, you may have been under a rock and missed the news that Solange Knowles attacked Jay Z, right in front for her sister Beyonce, in a lift.
And yes, there’s a lovely video of it.
Of course, it is cringeworthy when any of a family’s dirty laundry gets aired, especially so when all three people involved are really very famous indeed.
SO. Gary Barlow’s been found to have “invested” in a tax avoidance scheme. So therefore there are cries that he should be stripped of his OBE, or hand it back himself. The very idea of which is bloody stupid.
For he’s not actually broken the law as yet. He’ll only do that if he doesn’t stump up the tax which HMRC now thinks is rightfully due.
David Cameron today insisted it is not ‘necessary’ for Gary Barlow to be stripped of his OBE despite a court ruling the Take That star had invested in a massive tax avoidance scheme.
Barlow has been branded ‘unethical’ by one MP and faced a barrage of criticism on social media, but the Prime Minister insisted the singer had ‘done a huge amount for the country’ including raising money for charity.
Much as it pains me to say this Cameron is correct here. Even if not for the right reason.
AND so it came to be that Thomas Neuwirth transformed a drippy signer with a terrible voice into Conchita Wurst – a bearded singer in a dress with a nightclub singer’s voice.
And he won Eurovison.
His look has caught on:
But how original is his act?
That question to you, Frank Zappa:
The man with the woman head is here to help:
And to you Steve Kardynal:
AH, yes. The school dance. Awkward and often soul shattering, it was a necessary rite of passage. It’s no surprise that such a dramatic collective memory would make for some great moments on film. Here’s a list (in no particular order) of the 16 greatest school dance scenes in movies. Feel free to add your own – I’d love to hear them.
It’s a Wonderful Life
The gym floor opening up into a pool is a beloved movie moment. It highlights perfectly George Bailey’s wild and promising youth before his big fall.
Perhaps the most memorable of all high school dance scenes. DePalma’s split screen technique in combination with Spacek’s ghastly visage is one that’s hard to shake. Last year’s remake game an honorable effort, but you just can’t recreate this sort of horror magic.
Scott Bao’s powers are taken to their limit, and we get to see Heather Thomas zapped and disrobed (well, actually her body double, but a high point in teen sex romps nonetheless).
Pretty in Pink
Andi (Molly Ringwald) ended up with Duckie in the original version of the film, but test audiences were appalled. John Hughes subsequently changed to the script to have Andi end up with Blaine (Andrew McCarthy). I strongly agree with that decision; in fact, I would have preferred Duckie die a horrible death instead.
Who cares that every kid at Rydell looks like they’re over 30. This dance scene with Travolta in his prime doing the Hand Jive is solid gold.
Can’t Buy Me Love
Somehow Patrick Dempsey’s African Anteater Ritual dance catches on, and soon the entire student body is joining in. What a bunch of sheep.
The dance scene has so much to love: “True” by Spandau Ballet, a painfully awkward dance by Farmer Ted, a brief appearance by John Cusack, Dong and his buxom soul mate, the scoliosis girl, and a $1 cover charge to see Sam’s underwear.
“My old girlfriend from Oklahoma was gonna fly out for the dance but she couldn’t cause she’s doing some modeling right now.”
Perfectly captures the awkwardness of being on the outer fringes of the popularity caste system – all to the sounds of Alphaville and Cindy Lauper.
Ren and Ariel release some seriously pent up sexual energy on the dance floor. Lithgow was not amused.
Better Off Dead
Ricky (the fat dude from Head of the Class) dances like an effing maniac to impress Monique. I laughed till I ran out of air and blacked out, woke up and laughed some more.
A prolonged dance sequence set to disco music (featuring Jamie Lee Curtis) is unusual for a slasher film, but a beautiful thing nonetheless. It’s like Xanadu meets Friday the 13th. Even better, we get to see Leslie Neilsen putting on his boogie shoes!
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
The prom flashback is a brief but wonderfully effective reminder that high school dances feel monumentally important at the time, but really has no consequence for the life that awaits. The reunion dance to “Time After Time” is a nice touch as well.
There’s a very touching scene with Cindy Williams interspersed with plenty of mid-century tomfoolery. My personal favorite moment: Ron Howard telling the principal to go kiss a duck.
Just One of the Guys
Joyce Hyser shows her friend that she’s really a girl in disguise by exposing her breasts. An odd but historic moment in the annals of gratuitous nudity. (And, no, it’s not in the video below)
The curtain opens revealing a brawl between Randy (Nicholas Cage) and Tommy the Prom King. Hilarity ensues when the titular Valley Girl shoves guacamole in Tommy’s face and the crowd erupts into a food fight.
Back to the Future
McFly on the guitar playing “Johnny Be Good” to an eager crowd at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance is an amazing moment…. but then his digression into heavy metal guitar noodling leaves the audience saying “huh?”. Classic.
Honorable Mention: The pilot episode of Freaks and Geeks
It’s a TV show, but it still deserves a mention. Sam Weir finally gets to slow dance with his crush, but the opening to Styx’s “Come Sail Away” quickly turns loud and fast. He decides to go with the flow, stop being so damn self-conscious and just have fun. The feeling is contagious and his sister Lindsey, operating the punch bowls, who had a little something to do with the mentally challenged boy’s broken arm ventures over to see if he has forgiven her by asking him to dance. Perhaps the greatest school dance scene of them all.
KATIE Price tells the Sun that in spite of her husband Kieran Hayler’s reported cheating on her with a pal, she still wants him there by her side when their child is born at London’s Portland Hospital. We had hoped Katie would tweet this news, having broken the story of her husband’s infidelity with the autobiographical tweet:
“Jane Pountney is 50 next year cloned into me with my help she is a whore, home wrecker slut”.
That was more of a tagline for new Channel 5 biopic than a moment on Katie’s life in 140 characters or fewer.
PHILIPPE Petit Is talking to the New York Times about his new book Creativity: The Perfect Crime. It begins: “Make no mistake. I frown upon books about creativity.”Is talking to the New York Times about his new book Creativity: The Perfect Crime. It begins: “Make no mistake. I frown upon books about creativity.”
Most books on creativity are written by an author who references all the great creators of humanity — very often Einstein, the Beatles. They’re not drawing from themselves, and these books are usually in the self-help department. And very often, at the end of a chapter, they have an exercise for you to do. I don’t frown upon them; let’s be frank, I hate them.
On his wire-walking:
…two years ago in Washington Square Park. I put a little rope between two trees, and I improvised. If a leaf fell from a tree, I’d stop juggling and play with the leaf. I went to my prop bag and got a little bandage and stuck the leaf back on the tree. People loved it.
MALCOLM Gladwell has been thinking about teeth:
“If you don’t have good teeth, certain entry-level jobs are denied to you. There is fascinating stuff suggesting that you can’t work in customer-facing positions. If you go to work in a store, you’ll always be in the back. And if you’re in the back, that means you can never be in the front. You have no mobility, right? Mobility is from the back to the front.”
If you’re rich, it doesn’t matter…
SO. How do you get to marry actress and rubber glove model Helen Mirren? Thankfully, the guessing is over as Mirren told Hello! why she plighted her troth to Taylor Hackford.
“We didn’t get married for 15 years after we met each other… I couldn’t see the point until a financial adviser told me how much money we’d be saving. I was on board immediately.”
Love is… a widow’s pension…
SINCE the early seventies director Brian De Palma has crafted many intense and highly cerebral thrillers.
Alas, such efforts are often dismissed by critics as being overly imitative of Alfred Hitchcock’s films and style rather than praised for their own finely-developed sense of inter-textuality and intellectual gamesmanship.
ONE thing that has always been a major force in music, is marketing. Songs don’t accidentally find their way to listeners, unless you’re a crazy crate digger who actively looks between the cracks for music.
One of the finest pieces of music marketing, one that stills hangs around subtly today, saw Macy Gray becoming a huge star (albeit briefly). The job they did on her was magnificent. Basically, so sly was the campaign behind her, that listeners convinced themselves that they’d discovered her all by themselves.
REMEMBER when the Arctic Monkeys first burst onto the scene? Ordinary kids, making sharp, loud rock ‘n’ roll coupled with slanted looks at society and crapfun nights out? Even if they weren’t your bag, they sure were fun to have around. They made gloriously dumb music and matched it with an intelligence that their peers lacked.
And then, slowly, they turned into Every Other Rock Stars, going to the gym and wearing expensive clothes and making dadrock.
Some will argue that they grew up, which is fine as their fans were growing up too. However, who says that a) You have to grow up at all in music? b) Growing up means slowing down?
TERRIBLE Tattoos presents the Miley Cyrus chicken twerk tongue tat:
AND so it came to pass that Katie Price and Kieran ‘Loud’ Hayler are no longer an item. She claims on twitter that her third husband of some months has been chrating on her her with married-mum-of-two called Jane.
As befitting the terrible personal loss, Price took to Twitter:
“Sorry to say me and Kieran are divorcing. Him and my best friend Jane Pountney been having a full blown sexual affair for 7 months.”
EVERYONE outside of the music industry knows that people who illegally download also buy music. For example, Person A buys a lot of vinyl, but also illegally downloads a load of stuff he wouldn’t normally buy, like that song they hear on the radio now and then.
Some people will ravage a torrent and then go buy various albums from it in a try-before-you-buy way. Others will solely nick music, but whaddayagonnado? Those people, years ago, would’ve only ever recorded friends albums onto blank tapes anyway.
A new report goes one further – music and movie pirates behave completely differently. Turns out those who illegally download films are far more likely to pay for legitimate copies as well.
WHEN Joe DiMaggio heard his name in Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson”, he reportedly went into a rage and wanted to sue. To him, it sounded like an insult and insinuated that he was dead (“Joltin’ Joe has left and gone away.”) In truth, it was a homage – Paul Simon had worshiped DiMaggio growing up. The fact was explained to the baseball legend, but it’s likely he never really understood.
Similarly, when David Bowie played his tribute “Andy Warhol” in front of the artist himself, it was greeted with indifference. After the song was finished, there was an awkward silence and Warhol changed the subject inquiring about Bowie’s shoes.
Even though musicians are unlikely to get a pat on the back from the subject of their songs, that hasn’t stopped artists from making music about famous people either dead or living. From Ozzy’s ode to Alistair Crowley to Bananarama’s shout-out to Robert DeNiro, popular music is littered with songs namedropping famous people in the title. Here are six for your listening pleasure.
“Andy Warhol” by Dana Gillespie
Obviously, this was originally a Bowie song about one his biggest inspirations (found on his Hunky Dory LP). It was later covered by his sometime lover, sometime backing vocalist Dana Gillespie. Dana actually released a couple good albums under Bowie’s production company, but neither sold well, and she never was able to translate any form of success in the States. She moved on to concentrate on being an actress, then a bluesy singer a decade later. Despite her extremely varied career, one things always remained constant with Dana – massive cleavage.
“Rasputin” by Boney M
“Ra-Ra-Rasputin, Russia’s greatest love machine.”
Among his many crimes, Rasputin held control over the royal family, keeping them isolated and under his dark influence at the expense of the nation. But perhaps his most shameful legacy is this song; a disco travesty committed 62 years after his death.
“(My Name Is) Michael Caine” by Madness
Using Caine’s Ipcress File (1965) as a basis for a song about the IRA was unusually weighty stuff for the band. Caine initially refused to add his voice to the song, but was convinced by his daughter (a Madness fan)… which is slightly ironic considering Caine isn’t exactly known for turning things down (Jaws: The Revenge, anyone?). But as he once pointed out: “You get paid the same for a bad film as you do for a good one.” It’s hard to argue with that.
“Black Superman (Muhammad Ali)” by Johnny Wakelin
Under the direction of the same record producer responsible for “Kung Fu Fighting”, Wakelin wrote this homage to Ali after watching the epic fight against George Foreman forever known as the Rumble in the Jungle.
Even worse than Bowie’s Warhol tribute, Muhammad Ali was nonplussed by Johnny Wakelin’s “Black Superman (Muhammad Ali)” and basically disowned it.
“Abraham, Martin And John” by Moms Mabley
This song earned a spot on our list of 13 Worst Songs of the 1960s. It is better remembered via renditions by Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Dion…. but Moms Mabley is what we’re dishing up today as proof that no matter how beautiful something is, it can always be ruined. As sad as the deaths of Lincoln, MLK and JFK are, at least they were spared having to hear Moms sing this song.
“Lord Grenville” by Al Stewart
Lord Grenville was a 16th Century Admiral immortalized in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s The Revenge – A Ballad of the Fleet. This may be the most intellectual song ever written – with historical storytelling, literary references, and philosophical questions of purpose and time, all wrapped in a transcendental melody circling upwards like cannabis vapors to the Heavens. Glorious.